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Walker & Walker's English Legal System by…

Walker & Walker's English Legal System

by Richard Ward

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I have a nostalgic feel for Walker & Walker as it was the first main book I read whilst studying ‘A’ level Law in the late 1960s. In those days I think it had a yellow cover and was certainly not regularly updated with new editions as much as is the fashion (and need) today.

However, the current editors, Professor Richard Ward and Amanda Akhtar have gone for fetching pink and blue! It’s an attractive cover for what remains an attractive book of detail, and the authors have risen to the task and produced an excellent work which fits the undergraduate market extremely well for today.

I am glad that they have kept the title and not changed it to something like ‘common law systems’ or ‘reasoning’. Like many, I am proud that the “English Legal System” is what it says it is- a system of law historically developed for us in England and Wales. I do, of course, understand that overseas jurisdictions would prefer the term ‘common law’ as it removes any hint of imposed colonial rules although we have to face the facts of life which are that England gave a very large part of the world its principles of the common law, derived initially from the Normans and pre-Conquest custom.

The structure of the book is much in keeping with today’s academic requirements (and, thankfully, no ‘activities’). I like the emboldened short form introduction to each chapter and the excellent reading list at the back of each chapter. The 10th edition is completely up to date and OUP have now moved into the very welcome world of online resource centre updates as reform continues at such a cracking pace. On footnotes, I suggest that readers do not get too bogged down with them - I did all those years ago until I realised that it is the main text only that I needed to read over, and read over reasonably quickly to get the general picture. The footnotes give learners the referencing which is the gloss for their essays although I would think the weblinks will be increased in the ‘Further Reading’ sections for future editions as the internet takes over much of our learning function as more examination by assignment, and different methods of legal assessment develop.

Ward & Akhtar succeed with their aim of providing an accessible and relatively concise expedition of the main principles, rules and issues affecting the English Legal System. Also, they have maximized the user-friendly nature of the book which I would not have envisaged 40 years ago with the way the law was taught and applied in those days!

The authors have the balance right for 2008 with the inclusion of issues which are really valuable amid the heavy legislative programme which successive governments have undertaken to modernise what is a very old, but uniquely valuable and traditional common law English Legal System which will remain whatever the provocation from the EU! It retains my affection as the best ELS book for my undergraduates. ( )
  PhillipTaylor | Dec 26, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0199588104, Paperback)

With a pedigree extending over eleven editions, students can be sure that Walker and Walker's English Legal System provides an excellent grounding in the English legal system. The book covers all areas commonly taught on undergraduate courses, with a focus on judicial and legislative developments.

The eleventh edition has been substantially revised to ensure an even closer fit to courses, including the introduction of a new opening chapter to provide a clear overview of the subject. 'Key issues' boxes have been added to highlight key debates, and thought-provoking questions help students to think critically about the issues. This edition further benefits from a fresh new text design, making the book even easier to use.

Online Resource Centre

The book is supported by an Online Resource Centre offering a range of additional resources, including topical case studies, updates to the law, legal skills advice, the authors' thoughts on the questions in the book, and links to other useful web sites.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:38 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

This established textbook provides a valuable point of learning and reference for students. The authors offer an authoritative explanation of the main principles, rules, and issues involved in the English legal system, with a focus on judicial and legislative developments and their implications.… (more)

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